Spending good quality time together. This is not time where we’re sitting on our computers, basically in separate worlds but next to one another, but time where we’re actively engaging with one another, either having a conversation or doing an activity together, or even just snuggled up in bed not talking. Feeling like quality time is a thing that my partner enjoys, craves, desires, wants as much as possible of.
Touch. Touch is so valuable to me. I feel most connected to a partner when we are in physical contact, even if it’s just holding hands while we’re driving somewhere. JJ makes it very clear how much pleasure he derives simply from having his hands on my body, even from things as non-sexual as my cheeks. Sexual touch brings this to another level, especially when combined with verbal affection. Sex can be an amazing expression of love, and cuddles are just as important.
Attention. I’m giving attention separate emphasis from quality time, because attention can be given from afar. Gchatting during the day while we’re at work, or even when we’re spending time with other people, counts as attention-giving, but not as quality time. Undivided attention is very important to me. Listening to me, devoting your attention to me to the exclusion of everything else.
Affection. Saying we love one another, expressing gratitude for one another’s existence in our lives, saying things that we appreciate about one another, taking the time for kisses in the middle of life routines.
Future-Planning. Making decisions about a shared semi-distant future makes me feel secure, be those decisions about leases or vacations, etc. Even just speaking about the future as a thing we will exist as a unit in.
I offer stability and dependability and rootedness and growth and support and encouragement and love and laughter and silliness and enthusiasm and playfulness and sexual expression. I offer a metric ton of affection, both physical and verbal; it is so important to me to let the people that matter to me know that they matter and why. Oh, and food. I offer a lot of food. I less reliably succeed but try to offer compassion, understanding, and empathy. I offer the ability to build a home. I try to offer the opportunity to embark on an adventure of togetherness. I try to at all times embody an offer to extend myself for the betterment of the people most significantly in my life. I try to offer myself fully in all of my emotionally close relationships; I don’t like to hold back and try to discourage that from my friends and partner.
These are the things I have offered to JJ. I do not know what that leaves for others outside of him. When I have gone on dates with others or been talking to potential romantic/sexual interests during our relationship, I have often been stumped when said potential interests ask me what I’m looking for. I’m not looking to have multiple relationships; I don’t know what to take from the table I’ve built for JJ to give to someone else. The most honest answer would have likely been that I’m looking for someone to spend time with when I want to spend time with JJ but cannot due to one of his other relationships, and that isn’t much to offer. I usually end up saying that I’m looking for connections and am open to whatever happens, but I’ve never been sure exactly how true that is. I would like to exist in a relationship that does not need bolstering by outside reinforcements.